John W. Bubbles tap dance from “Varsity Show"

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Hi All -

In the 1936 film, Swing Time, Fred Astaire performs a dance sequence entitled “Bojangles of Harlem.” The routine was meant as a tribute to evoke the great Bill Robinson as a popularizer of Tap. However, Astaire was not particularly influenced by Robinson’s tap dancing style. Robinson danced with a clean vertical style, while Astaire used his upper body and arms.

The black tap dancer whom Astaire most admired - and was greatly influenced by - was John Bubbles who gave tap lessons to Astaire a decade earlier.

VARSITY SHOW directed by William Keighley (1937 120 min.)

Van -

© Van Wyck Keely 2012